Tallaght 50 Dublin University 0

Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan

Tallaght R.F.C. 50

Tries: Willie Lambe, Aaron Shanahan, Aaron Morgan 2, Andrew Rudd 3, Ciaran Rudd
Con: Morgan Farrell 3, Willie Lambe 2

Dublin University 0

O’Connor Cup Round 1
Tymon Park
28/1/2017

Tallaght took on Trinity College in the first round of the O’Connor Cup. As a Division 7 team, Tallaght started as favourites against Division 9 Trinity and Tallaght got off to a fine start when scrum-half Willie Lambe weaved his way through for a fine individual try which Morgan Farrell converted for a 7-0 lead. The young Trinity team were game though and they were able to frustrate Tallaght at the breakdown. It was another 20 minutes before Tallaght’s second try when Jack Russell’s skip-out pass put winger Aaron Shanahan away for a try which he finished emphatically on his Tallaght debut. Morgan Farrell converted that try and then kicked another sweet conversion from the sideline after flanker Aaron Morgan was driven over from a maul. This made it 21-0 and that was the last score before half-time as Tallaght’s performance grew increasingly sloppy conceding far too many penalties and making several handling errors.

Willie Lambe
Willie Lambe

After a stern talking to at half-time from their coach, Tallaght emerged with more purpose in the second half. A strong run from hooker Ken McGovern got Tallaght close to the Trinity line and Adam Nolan’s cut out pass gave winger Andrew Rudd a handy run in for a try to make it 26-0. It wasn’t long before the next try arrived and this time it was Aaron Morgan again.  The flanker had carried powerfully all day and he crashed through for an unconverted five-pointer which made it 31-0.

Aaron Morgan
Aaron Morgan

After that it was the Rudd show. First Jack Russell took off on a break from inside his own half but didn’t quite have the pace to make the line so he passed to Andrew Rudd to score his second try of the day under the posts. Willie Lambe drop-kicked the conversion to make it 38-0. Then Andrew Rudd was put away again and with a hat-trick in his sights and a clear view of the line, the youngster may have been forgiven for going for it himself. Instead he checked back inside and gave his brother Ciaran a pass to score Tallaght’s seventh try of the match. Andrew’s good deed was rewarded though as he was put away yet again for his hat-trick try which Lambe converted to make the final score 50-0.

Andy Rudd
Andy Rudd

Tom Leigh was pleased overall with Tallaght’s performance. “We had some sloppy spells, which can happen when you get a big lead up early on, but overall I was very happy. The best thing about the day was the performance of the guys we brought into the team. We’re building great depth and options in different positions and the pressure for places is being reflected in the performances with everyone. It was tough to pick a man of the match. Aaron Morgan and Jack Russell were their usual immense selves in the backrow and Andy Rudd scored a hat-trick from the wing and set up another. But I have to give it to Aaron Shanahan who was hugely impressive on his first start for the club. He looked dangerous every time he touched the ball and scored one try and could have had a couple more. He was also excellent in the second half when we moved him into the centre, making a number of big tackles. We’ve a big month ahead in February and players like Aaron and other newer guys will be vital in having a competitive squad to drive us onto another level.”
Man of the match: Aaron Shanahan

Tallaght RFC

15. Gary Doyle
14. Andew Rudd
13. Ciaran Rudd
12. Gavin McKeon
11. Aaron Shanahan
10. Morgan Farrell
9. Willie Lambe

8. Jack Russell
7. Aaron Morgan
6. Mark Keogh
5. Paul Cunningham (Captain)
4. Joe Ivers
3. Tony McManus
2. Ken McGovern
1. Nigel Foster

Replacements

16. Kevin Quinn
17. Adam Nolan
18. Karl Seagrave
19. John Burke
20. Sean Judd
21. Alan Sower
22. David Clarke

Report: Jim O’Connor

Photos: Anne Kavanagh & Jessica Walsh Fulham

Jack Russell
Jack Russell
Ken McGovern
Ken McGovern

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